September 3, 2018

G139: Red Sox 8, Atlanta 2

Red Sox - 000 030 023 - 8 10  0
Atlanta - 000 001 100 - 2  8  1
The Red Sox were held hitless for four innings, before banging out five hits in the fifth, including three consecutive doubles. Ian Kinsler hit a key two-out, two-run double in the eighth and (after a BBI to load the bases) Xander Bogaerts smoked a double to center in the ninth for two extra insurance runs.

After Nathan Eovaldi (3.1-2-0-4-4, 86) threw 39 pitches in the first inning, and 71 through three innings, it was clear he would not go very deep into this game. Alex Cora used seven relievers. (Atlanta put only three of Eovaldi's first 63 pitches into play, and none of his first 38.)

Touki Toussaint (4.2-4-3-2-6, 64) breezed through the first four innings, showing off a nice curveball, but with one out in the fifth, Eduardo Nunez doubled to left. Ronald Acuna got to the ball, but he slipped and fell on his ass. Nunez had slowed around first, but when he saw there was no throw coming into the infield, he darted into second.

I assumed that it would be a single and an error (and was utterly convinced of it when NESN's Steve Lyons said it was probably a double), but Nunez got credit for two bags. It made no sense, because fielders do get charged with errors even if they do not touch the ball. Perhaps the official scorer thought "He did not mean to fall down". Well, sure, but other players didn't mean to allow the ball to roll between their legs or throw the ball 15 feet over the first baseman's head.

Kinsler doubled to the base of the wall in right-center and Christian Vazquez lined a double down the left field line. That was good for two runs and Mookie Betts's single to right made it 3-0.

Eovaldi walked three men in the first inning, which was more free passes than he had given up in any of his previous 17 starts this year. Atlanta also left the bases loaded in the fourth. Eovaldi walked Johan Camargo and Kurt Suzuki singled to left. Ozzie Albies flied to right and Camargo went to third. Brandon Workman took over and he walked Dansby Swanson. Toussaint grounded to first and Mitch Moreland got the force at the plate. Acuna ended the inning with a popup to second.

Steven Wright pitched the fifth. He hit his first batter, got two force plays at second, and gave up a bloop single to right before recording the third out. Albies homered off Joe Kelly (and his moustache) in the sixth.

Ryan Brasier allowed a rare run in the seventh. Ender Inciarte singled and, after a fly out, so did Nick Markakis and Camargo. Suzkui's sac fly made it 3-2. Heath Hembree struck out Albies to end the inning.

With their lead down to one run, the Red Sox pounced on Jesse Biddle. J.D. Martinez singled with one out and Moreland walked with two down. Nunez grounded to first and it looked like Freddie Freeman had an easy force opportunity at second for the final out. But his soft toss was extremely high. Swanson leapt and was able to bat it forward, likely saving a run. The bases were loaded and Kinsler lined a 1-1 pitch to right to make it 5-2. (At home, I wondered out loud if Kinsler was looking "biddle-biddle" on that pitch, but I won't make that weak joke here.)

The Red Sox's propensity for late-inning fun carried over into the ninth. Bryse Wilson walked pinch-hitter Brock Holt. Betts lined to right, with Markakis coming and making a tumbling catch. Andrew Benintendi doubled to right-center and Holt stopped at third. JDM was BBId. (I know it cannot be true, but it seems like intentionally walking the bases loaded usually backfires. Laura is convinced it never works, even though she has seen it work plenty of times. I know how she feels.)

Bogaerts waved awkwardly at a low, outside 0-1 pitch and fouled the 0-2 off. Then he looked great, hitting a rope towards left-center. Inicarte sprinted to his right but the ball sailed past his glove and rolled to the wall. Two runs scored. That BBI worked so well, Atlanta tried it again. Moreland was franked (his third walk of the afternoon) and Nunez lined the ball to pretty much the same spot as Bogaerts had done. This time, Inciarte made the catch, but Martinez scored Boston's eighth run.

Atlanta was 1-for-12 with RATS and left 13 runners on base. ... Eovaldi struck out the first batter he faced (Acuna) with a 100.9-mph fastball, the fastest pitch he has thrown this year. ... I think Ender Inciarte should give up the outfield and become Atlanta's closer.

The Athletics beat the Yankees 6-3. New York managed only one hit after the second inning. Oakland is only 3.5 GB the MFY in the Wild card race.
Nathan Eovaldi / Touki Toussaint

Nathan Eovaldi is back on the mound after only two days of rest, but he worked only two innings on Friday before a rain delay ended his evening. Dany Gilbert Kiti Toussaint is making his second major league appearance.

The Red Sox are 94-44 with 24 games remaining. The 1912 team holds the franchise's win record: 105-47-2.
12-12: Minimum record needed to set a new franchise record for wins
12-4: Minimum record needed to set a new franchise record for wins in 154 games

1 comment:

allan said...

This was the sixth time since 1908 the Red Sox used eight or more pitchers in a nine-inning game. All six games have occurred since 1999.